After getting its start developing fine-focused instrumentation for spinal surgery, NuVasive has rapidly expanded its portfolio to provide a range of products, including for specialized orthopedics and innovative neuromonitoring services. As the company expanded organically and through strategic investments, it also expanded its internal creative team to more effectively manage its growing family of brands.
“Four years ago, we outsourced most of our graphic design work,” says Victoria Caldwell, Creative Director at NuVasive. “Since then, we’ve transitioned most of our graphic design work in-house, which requires comprehensive brand-asset management. Our team touches everything from marketing literature to events, corporate signage, artwork, and digital campaigns for social and web.”
Bringing that creative work in-house required a new approach to brand management. While Caldwell had previously utilized Box, she wanted a platform with improved visual navigation and search capabilities.
“We were working with an agency of record, and they managed a lot of our digital assets and for us,” Caldwell recalls. “As we were bringing all the work in-house, we needed something that allowed us to better manage those assets, so we weren’t downloading design files to access select images and pull them into other files. It just wasn’t an efficient way of working.”
Having seen the benefits of using a digital asset management (DAM) platform in the past, Caldwell took part in the search for a solution that would be the right fit for NuVasive. After evaluating several options, the team found Canto. The platform’s intuitive interface, visual-first design, and organizational tools quickly set it apart from the crowd.
“We wanted something that was easy to use with or without a marketing and design background,” Caldwell says. “[Canto] was the most visual option that we looked at. We knew that our team was going to be able to manage the platform and it would be extremely easy for any employee to download those file assets.”
Another feature that stood out was the way Canto allowed users to download multiple file types from a single asset and handle the conversion all within the platform, which would help ensure that people would be downloading the correct file type for a particular use case.
Implementation made easy
After selecting Canto, the creative team got to work migrating NuVasive’s diverse digital assets into the centralized DAM system. They started by downloading existing assets from old storage locations, organizing them, and then uploading them into Canto. During this process, they began applying tags to assets so they would be easier to organize and locate in the future. Since the people uploading the images weren’t subject matter experts on medical products, the team frequently reached out to NuVasive’s product teams for feedback and recommendations.
“We work with super smart people who know products inside and out,” Caldwell says, including “how specific keywords would generate the most useful results, and how surgeons refer to products and procedures.” “The more the platform allows us to collaborate with our product teams, the better the experience for everyone, especially since our product teams are heavy users of the product images we house in Canto.”
A seamless transition for multiple departments
Since Canto was being implemented at the same time the creative team was expanding, Caldwell had little difficulty training everyone on how to manage assets with a DAM platform. The real test came when Canto was rolled out to the rest of the organization. In the past, sales and product teams had to ask questions about which assets to use or send emails requesting a particular file, which took up a lot of time.
“As soon as we expanded access to the whole organization, we realized those questions decreased significantly just by giving them direct access in one place,” Caldwell says. “They could go to Canto, search for an image, and find it themselves.”
Providing access to approved brand assets streamlined workflows by allowing people to quickly locate and access the correct files for presentations and sales enablement materials.
“I hated to be the bottleneck,” Caldwell remarks. “If I had a busy day and couldn’t get to an email for a couple hours, that person was on hold until I could send a response. Now they get time back and can progress on a project because they’re not waiting on me or my team.”
The ability to share upload links with vendors also proved to be a huge time saver. Rather than downloading digital assets from a vendor and then uploading that content into Canto, NuVasive can instead send an upload link directly to the vendor, who can upload assets into the DAM platform, eliminating a step in the process.
Discovering unexpected DAM benefits
After migrating assets into Canto and organizing them for easy access, the creative team quickly found a new way to use the platform’s features when they received a request for a media kit. Rather than requesting web developers to build out a dedicated page with media assets or painstakingly emailing content for every request, Caldwell realized they could use Canto’s portal features to provide a curated experience for visitors.
“We thought it was a great application to consolidate all the assets into a portal and then make it public when we were ready,” she says. “It works great for consolidating approved resources and messaging and digital assets for our external partners. We’ve received some really good feedback on it.”
Transitioning NuVasive’s style guidelines into Canto also proved to be an effective brand management strategy. By storing those files in a single, reliable source, it became much easier to share them internally and externally. Rather than tracking down and referencing a basic PDF copy of the guidelines, users can access them within the Canto library where the relevant assets are stored.
“We didn’t realize how helpful that would be. Being able to link directly to the albums and assets makes it a lot easier since we’re already storing all those files in Canto. With the style guide, you can copy and paste directly from the color palette versus having to open a PDF, find the right page, and copy that information over or remember it off the top of your head,” Caldwell says.